Taekwondo: Ng Ser Miang appointed World TKD Headquarters honorary chairman

International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Ng Ser Miang arrives for the first day of the IOC's executive board meeting at the IOC headquarters in Pully, Switzerland, on Dec 5, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - He is a bemedalled national sailor, an International Olympic Committee member and a driving force behind the inaugural 2010 Youth Olympic Games.

Now, Ng Ser Miang has added another feather to his cap when he was named the honorary chairman of Kukkiwon (World Taekwondo Headquarters).

Ng, 68, told The Straits Times on Friday (Feb 2): "I feel honoured (to be appointed) and I believe that taekwondo is more than just a martial art and a sport. It manifests itself through the values of the Olympic movement - Excellence, friendship and respect.

"Taekwondo has been an Olympic sport since 2000 and there is a lot of scope for development. A key motivation for me when I take on international appointments is how I can use the role to support the sport in Singapore.

"With this appointment in Kukkiwon, I believe it will help Singapore taekwondo very much."

Kukkiwon is Korea's governing body for taekwondo established by the Korean government. It is in charge of various aspects of the sport, like training, grading as well as research and innovation.

Ng is one of the Republic's most experienced and respected sports administrators. He is also a previous chairman of national sports agency Sport Singapore from 1991 to 2002 (then known as the Singapore Sports Council). He is a member of the IOC's executive board from 2005-2009 and from 2016 until now, serving as the committee's vice-president from 2009-2013.

He is also known for his strong association with sailing. He is a former Singapore sailor who won a silver medal at the 1969 South-east Asia Peninsular Games, the precursor to the SEA Games. He told ST that his involvement with taekwondo stemmed from his friendship with Kukkiwon's late founder Kim Unyong, who inaugurated the organisation in 1972. Kim, a former IOC vice-president, died on Oct 3 at the age of 86.

"I had known Mr Kim since 1991, when I was then the chairman of the Singapore Sports Council and visited Korea and China. He was the founding president of Kukkiwon and the World Taekwondo Federation. It was through him that I learned about taekwondo and I helped to support our local NSA (National Sports Association)."

Singapore Taekwondo Federation president Milan Kwee hailed the appointment, saying: "This is a great honour and I am delighted to see a Singaporean holding this high appointment at Kukkiwon. Mr Ng is a person known by many in the world of sports and he is well-liked. He is very humble and a very helpful person."

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